FEMA denies hurricane victims food access


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been negligent toward those in dire need of food, medicine, housing, improved infrastructure and electricity in disaster areas. 

To be more specific, the residents of Puerto Rico have been denied resources due to Hurricane Maria that damaged major parts of Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida. 

FEMA had a mission to provide food for the residents of Puerto Rico — 30 million meals to be exact. For several months, people have been living without food, proper running water and electricity, and FEMA is supposed to rescue them from this disaster. 

Out of 30 million meals, 50,000 meals were delivered from Atlanta entrepreneur Tiffany Brown, who is the owner of Tribute Contracting, LLC. according to The New York Times (NYT). 

FEMA knew Brown did not have natural disaster experience and still awarded her $156 million to provide meals for Puerto Rico’s residents. Brown has expertise in the contracting system and “hired a wedding caterer in Atlanta with a staff of 11 to freeze-dry wild mushrooms and rice, chicken and rice, and vegetable soup,” according to The NYT. 

The problem with the meals is that they were shipped by a non-profit organization, which affected the quantity and quality of the meals delivered. 

The meals were also packaged separately where heating the meals was required. 

Where are the residents who are already without electricity going to heat up their frozen catered meals? This is absolute carelessness on FEMA’s part, because they gave an unprepared Atlanta entrepreneur, who only has expertise in contracting, the sole responsibility of providing 30 million meals to starving residents.

The problem at hand is that the poor pay more than anyone and always get the short end of the stick. Out of Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico, which are all controlled by the U.S., Puerto Rico gets the least amount of coverage and support based on its needs.

Is it because Puerto Ricans are minorities? They are well within the poverty line and are being treated as less than human. FEMA’s neglect of Puerto Rico and its residents’ rights sets back years of education and access to health care. 

It is an embarrassment and a national tragedy that people are fleeing Puerto Rico for the U.S. mainland, only to still experience prejudice here. 

FEMA is not the only organization at fault — the government and the Trump administration is also at fault, because failing to assist a U.S. territory containing residents who do not look like the majority is a problem. 

There is no excuse for this type of treatment. Puerto Ricans pay their taxes just like the average person, and in return their rights as citizens are not being fulfilled. 

Puerto Ricans have been suffering without proper food and electricity for months, and elderly people have to risk losing their lives because they do not have proper health care. All of this stems from the fact that the Trump administration is fostered by ignorance. 

Because Puerto Ricans are different, the Trump administration is not fulfilling its obligation.

Months of tragedy occurred and people are still suffering. 

The fact is that people do not have what they need, including proper infrastructure, unlimited resources and respect from the U.S. 

It is more than just Puerto Rico suffering without proper food and electricity — it is a systematic problem of neglect that will only get worse if it continues.


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